I wish I understood why the policy objections of one company—Delta Air Lines—mattered more than the livelihoods of thousands of people. Last year, the CEO of Delta made $9 million. Delta paid its top executives almost $20 million. Yet, it is fighting to make sure its employees cannot organize for fear that they may secure a few extra dollars in their paychecks. At the same time it is pushing for special interest provisions in the FAA bill, Delta announced it was abandoning air service to 26 small rural communities—leaving many of them without air service.
Delta then had the gall to announce publicly it would seek EAS subsidies to continue this service. Maybe Mr. Anderson and his colleagues could forgo some of their salary to help subsidize this air service. Maybe they could use some of the millions of dollars they are collecting in a tax holiday windfall to pay for this service. Their actions are shameful.
Let me be clear, House Republicans and their Senate allies have thrown nearly four thousand FAA employees out of work, stopped critical airport safety projects, hurt hundreds of small businesses, and gutted the Aviation Trust Fund, all so that Delta Air Lines doesn’t have to allow its employees to organize in a fair and timely manner.
Delta, of course, was so invested in inserting the antidemocratic language making union elections all but impossible into the FAA reauthorization bill that it was willing to fly employees to Washington to lobby for the provision rather than selling those seats to customers. And when it comes to union organizing drives among its employees, Delta has been so aggressively anti-union that the National Mediation Board was investigating Delta's interference and intimidation in a union election for flight attendants, ramp workers and others. And Delta has spent more than $500,000 already this year on lobbying; Delta's CEO is also the chair of the Air Transport Association, which has spent nearly $1 million lobbying in 2011.
Whether they did it for pure ideological reasons or for one company's benefit, Republicans have put nearly 4,000 FAA employees on furlough, shut down construction projects employing up to 90,000 private sector construction workers, and cost the government nearly $30 million a day in ticket taxes in order to push for an election standard for unions by which, if it was applied to government elections, none of them would ever have made it to Congress.